Manvel edges Hightower in district showdown 49-38

MANVEL — The game between Manvel and Hightower was a story of halves. The first half was a display of offense and scoring while the second half turned into a defensive struggle.

Both offenses scored each time they had the ball in the first two quarters with Hightower punting on one possession and Manvel turning the ball over on a fumble.

Other than that -- both teams scored five times while hitting their extra points to close out the first half tied 35-35.

Manvel scored the first four possessions including a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Dayvon Henderson that gave the Mavs a 14-7 lead with 4:50 left in the first quarter.

Following a punt by Hightower, Manvel extended their lead on a 7-yard scoring run by Ty Harris at the 1:33 mark of the first period making the score 21-7.

The score capped a three-play, 80-yard drive with the big play coming on a 78-pass completion from senior QB Gabriel Larry to junior WR Isaiah King to the Hightower seven-yard line.

But the Hurricanes weren't going away as they used a 5-yard scoring toss from senior QB Jakolby Longino to junior WR Caleb Douglass to cap a 83-yard, seven-play drive to close the gap to 21-14.

The two teams once again traded out scores as Manvel scored on a 42-yard pass from Larry to Jalen Walthall making the score 28-14 with 8:53 left in the second period.

With 4:57 left before halftime, Hightower scored on a 24-yard quarterback keeper by Longino to close the margin to 28-21.

That's when Manvel broke the scoring cycle when Hightower recovered a fumble at the Mavs 25 with 4:40 left before halftime.

It took only four plays for the Hurricanes to knot up the score at 28-28 on a 3-yard run by senior RB Charles Shelling with 3:58 left.

With :54 seconds left before halftime, Manvel completed a 65-yard, nine-play scoring drive on a scoring pass covering 41-yards from Larry to De'Monte Seymore making the score 35-28.

But Hightower needed only 54 seconds to tie up the district clash 35-35 as Longino scrambled for a 12-yard touchdown to complete the short 57-yard march that was keyed by a pass from Longino pass to Kaleb Johnson covering 37-yards.

The second half was totally opposite of the first half as the offensive fireworks came to a screeching halt as Hightower settled for a 45-yard field goal in the third quarter by Armando Ventura with 9:57 left in the third quarter to take a 38-35 lead that lasted until the fourth frame.

Manvel took the lead for good when Larry and Walthall struck for an 80-yard bomb with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter making the score 42-38.

The Mavs put the nail in the coffin when Seymore cruised in on a 5-yard run with only 1:29 left in the game to put Manvel up 49-38 following the PAT by Antonio Rodriguez who had six extra points on the night.

Larry was 12-of-18 passing for 397 yards and three TDs with one interception.

Harris had 87 yards on 11 carries and one score.

Walthall caught six passes for 215 yards and two TDs. King caught one pass for 78 yards. Seymore grabbed one pass for 41-yards and a touchdown.

Manvel had 488 total yards while Hightower had 409 total yards.